Treasure Island

Edwin James Brady

(7 August 1869 - 22 August 1952 / Carcoar / New South Wales)

The Wardens of the Seas


Like star points in the ether to guide a homing soul
Towards God's Eternal Haven; above the wash and roll,
Across and o'er the oceans, on all the coasts they stand
Tall seneschals of commerce, High Wardens of the Strand --
   The white lights slowly turning
   Their kind eyes far and wide,
   The red and green lights burning
   Along the waterside.

When Night with breath of aloes, magnolia, spice, and balm
Creeps down the darkened jungles and mantles reef and palm,
By velvet waters making soft music as they surge
The shore lights of dark Asia will one by one emerge --
   Oh, Ras Marshig by Aden
   Shows dull on hazy nights;
   And Bombay Channel's laid in
   Its "In" and "Outer" lights.

When Night, in rain-wet garments comes sobbing cold and grey
Across the German Ocean and South from Stornoway,
Thro' snarling darkness slowly, some fixed and some a-turn,
The bright shore-lights of Europe like welcome tapers burn, --
   From fierce Fruholmen streaming
   O'er Northern ice and snow,
   To Cape St. Vincent gleaming, --
   These lamps of danger glow.

The dark Etruscan tending his watchfires by the shore,
On sacred altars burning, the world shall know no more;
His temple's column standing against the ancient stars
Is gone; Now bright catoptrics flash out electric bars, --
   Slow swung his stately Argos
   Unto the Tiber's mouth;
   But now the Tuscan cargoes
   Screw-driven, stagger South.

The lantern of Genoa guides home no Eastern fleets
As when the boy Columbus played in its narrow streets:
No more the Keltic `dolmens' their fitful warnings throw
Across the lone Atlantic, so long, so long ago --
   No more the beaked prows dashing
   Shall dare a shoreward foam;
   No more will great oars threshing
   Sweep Dorian galleys home.

No more the Vikings roaring their sagas wild and weird
Proclaim that Rome has fallen; no more a consul feared
Shall quench the Roman pharos lest Northern pirates free
Be pointed to their plunder on coasts of Italy --
   Nor shall unwilling lovers,
   From Lethean pleasures torn,
   Fare nor'ward with those rovers,
   To frozen lands forlorn.

The bale-fires and the watch-fires, the wrecker's foul false lure
No more shall vex the shipmen; and on their course secure
Past Pharos in the starlight the tow'ring hulls of Trade
Race in and out from Suez in iron cavalcade, --
   So rode one sunset olden
   Across the dark'ning sea,
   With banners silk and golden,
   The Barge of Antony!

They loom along the foreshores; they gleam across the Straits;
They guide the feet of Commerce unto the harbor gates.
In nights of storm and thunder, thro' fog and sleet and rain,
Like stars on angels' foreheads, they give man heart again, --
   Oh, hear the high waves smashing
   On Patagonia's shore!
   Oh, hear the black waves threshing
   Their weight on Skerryvore!

He searches night's grim chances upon his bridge alone
And seeks the distant glimmer of hopeful Eddystone:
And thro' a thick fog creeping, with chart and book and lead,
The homeward skipper follows their green and white and red --
   By day his lighthouse wardens
   In sunlit quiet stand,
   But in the night the burdens
   Are theirs of Sea and Land.

They fill that night with Knowledge. A thousand ships go by,
A thousand captains bless them, so bright and proud and high:
The world's dark capes they glamour; or low on sand banks dread,
They, crouching, mark a pathway between the Quick and Dead --
   Like star points in the ether
   They bring the seamen ease,
   These Lords of Wind and Weather
   These Wardens of the Seas!

Submitted: Saturday, January 04, 2003

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: fog, star, dark, rain, red, sunset, green, weather, night, home, sea, ocean, snow, music, world, wind, alone, angel, fear, warning

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (The Wardens of the Seas by Edwin James Brady )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  9. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  10. Invictus
    William Ernest Henley

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. IMITATION 10 WORD, Beryl Dov
  2. Pugad ng pag ibig, Jesus James Llorico
  3. EXPECTATIONS, Beryl Dov
  4. My friend, joe foster
  5. SELF VS SELFISH, Beryl Dov
  6. WISEASS VS. WISEGUY, Beryl Dov
  7. SUCCESS, Beryl Dov
  8. Condemn me, hasmukh amathalal
  9. GETTING EVEN, Beryl Dov
  10. Ebola Suspicion, douglas scotney

Poem of the Day

poet William Wordsworth

I

I AM not One who much or oft delight
To season my fireside with personal talk.--
Of friends, who live within an easy walk,
Or neighbours, daily, weekly, in my sight:
...... Read complete »

   
[Hata Bildir]